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How important is religion to you and why?

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sapphire
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How important is religion to you and why?

Postby sapphire » Fri, 10 Feb 2006 2:48 pm

This is a spin-off from the other volatile thread. Made me think about my own stand on religion. To start with, I'm a Hindu. As far as I'm concerned, I was born Hindu. Besides that I don't feel Hindu or Christian or Muslim or Jew in my day to day life. Maybe because I don't do anything special to be a Hindu.

Yes, I have idols of various Hindu Gods in my house. I love all the stories of various Hindu Gods, but that's all they are to me - stories. Like a Moral Science class, all these stories have morals to preach. As for idols in my home, its more out of tradition than anything else. When I am in trouble, I pray to God. Thought to ponder is when you are in trouble, would it matter if Allah or Jesus or Krishna or Buddha helped you?

To me, what matters is that there's some superior energy somewhere. Its that energy that I pray to, it may have a name in my head, again more out of tradition and habit, most likely it'll be name of a Hindu God.

My mom prays every day, she says it brings her peace of mind. I have not understood that. Maybe it'll happen with age? I don't know. But, right now, religion holds no importance in my life. Some superior energy, yes.

What do you all have to say? Why is religion causing so much havoc in today's world? When it was actually created for peace. How has religion become so important where people risk and at times sacrifice their lives for it?
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Postby vaishali » Fri, 10 Feb 2006 3:08 pm

Religion plays no role for me. I was born to a muslim father and a hindu mother. my father was brought up in a catholic boarding school, so feels more catholic. I was brought up with absolutely no religious ties. My parents felt it best for me to find out for myself, if anything. Therefore, I am now atheist. However, I'm married to a Christian.

LOL. Okay, so, to me, religion is not important. Believe in yourself! Not what some god can do for you!
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Postby Wham » Fri, 10 Feb 2006 3:39 pm

i was born a catholic and eventually reached the conclusion that if Jesus Christ appeared on earth today, he would be sickened by all the evil that has been done by the religion created out of his teachings. Therefore, i consider myself a Christian, but despise the church. I also know that all religions are 99% mythology and 1% reality. I think the problem with various religions happens when people forget that for the most part, it is mythology.
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Postby madwolfie » Fri, 10 Feb 2006 4:31 pm

A FAMOUS TAOIST SAYING:
"Those who know don't say, and those who say don't know."


As a taoist (not those priests who doubles up as exorcists in the chinese movies), taoism to me is not a religion but more of a way of life and safekeeping certain traditions. (through festivities mainly)

Taoism started as a combination of psychology and philosophy but evolved into a religious faith in 440 CE when it was adopted as a state religion.

What I really like about Taoism is in its teachings. Its about Tao (the way, the path) It refers to a power which envelops, surrounds and flows through all things, living and non-living. The Tao regulates natural processes and nourishes balance in the Universe. It embodies the harmony of opposites (i.e. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)

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Postby renter » Fri, 10 Feb 2006 5:12 pm

I have got no religion.
Other people's religion in my eyes is a belief and faith of them to me. (I assume they believe in it.)

I got my own belief and faith, the only difference between which and any other religion is it is not defined in word as a 'religion'.

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Re: How important is religion to you and why?

Postby Plavt » Fri, 10 Feb 2006 5:17 pm

sapphire wrote:Why is religion causing so much havoc in today's world? When it was actually created for peace. How has religion become so important where people risk and at times sacrifice their lives for it?


I think this is not due to religion itself but to the interpretation of religion by a few who are often prominent members of a society or religious creed.

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Postby tiki » Fri, 10 Feb 2006 6:21 pm

I was brought up to believe in the spirit of Nature. The wind, the clouds, the trees...

I totally disagree with the notion that there is only ONE 'right' religion because if it is, then why are people born Catholics, Moslems and the like. I believe it is what is in your heart that matters. You can be praying to your own God/s but the important thing is the sincerity and the purity of your heart that really counts.

To kill in the name of God has got to be the most hypocritical and self centred belief that could have only be created by Man. Would GOD order his creation to kill the other? There are loads of misconceptions when it comes to religion.

For example the wide belief that a Moslem is not allowed to keep dogs. I have read that dogs are permitted if they were kept to watch over your property eg land. A Moslem can touch a dog, it's just that he/she would have to cleanse themselves after according to a set method. The recent uproar over the comic strip is understandable as it is not stated how exactly the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. actually looked liked and usually he has been depicted like a bright light. But it sad how the uproar is getting out of hand....

I am no expert in religion but I do my bit by reading up, understanding and being sensitive to a fellow human's belief/s. But such are the times right now that even iterature can't really be fully trusted upon. Perhaps that explains the need for so many books before and after the bible.... at the end of the day, it is Man who abused the trust and responsibility laid upon him, to achieve his own selfish goals.

I pity the people who live in fear because of their leaders personal religious agendas. Religion is about understanding and being one. It is not about guilt or greed.

I am a man of science but I do believe there is a GOD as much as I believe in the power and beauty of Nature.
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Do you know the name
of your solitude..'

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Postby madwolfie » Fri, 10 Feb 2006 7:28 pm

Nice one tiki! :love:

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Postby Global Citizen » Fri, 10 Feb 2006 7:46 pm

That was beautiful Tiki.

Found myself agreeing that there is no such thing as only 1 right religion. God to different people represents different Creators depending on how and what religion you were raised with. All are equal as God to me is representative of a Supreme Being.

I was born a Hindu, have never been particularly religious and I'm not into rituals but I believe in God. Of late particularly, I find comfort in the knowledge that God (Supreme Being /Creator) looks over me and I look towards her for support, strength and yes Sapphire, :) even some peace of mind when I'm troubled. Being religious and a good human being do not go hand in hand and the latter is far more important and is really what counts.

I'm fed up with the destruction and abuse that I see heaped by so called "religious" people in the name of God in so many religions and I'm of the view that having no religion, religious dogma to deal with but just faith or a belief in a Creator is the way to go. However having said that, I must admit Buddhism appeals a great deal to me because of its simplicity. Perhaps in my next life, I'll be a Buddhist.
One man's meat is another's poison.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 10 Feb 2006 8:32 pm

I am an agnostic.

I do not say there is no superior energy (I like that!) I am, to my way of thinking, the "doubting Thomas". Although my wife says I'd have to see the burning bush to believe! All Religions are very important to the average person as they do not have the fortitude to believe in themselves as I do.

I quit the church (presbytarian) in 1960 as I was disallusioned that no one (preachers/teachers) could/would answer my questions to my satisfaction. That along with my concurrent reading of Darwin's theory of evolution made for a lot of questions that couldn't be answered. I did not quit going to worship services however. For the next 5 years or so I went to many different types of worship services, temples, and whatnot. After that I continued to study different religions until around 1980 when I finally accepted that my "temple" was within me alone.

I found a number of religions/ways of life that I could accept a great portion of but nothing that I could accept 100% of. I believe in myself and my own code of conduct 100% and I am 100% true to that code. If I were to embrace another religion it would have to meet the 100% criteria otherwise I would be a hippocrite in my mind.

The only thing I was ever able to find that came close was Theravada Buddhism. Unfortunately, the inability to accept reincarnation stops me.

Ironically, my wife and kids are devout catholics. I've often told people that her religion is the reason I married her. The first thing is "then why don't you become a catholic also".

They missed the whole point. It's what her "religion" made her as a person. Not being a catholic. She could have been a Muslim, Taoist, Buddhist, Animist, Hindi, Jewish, whatever. My thinking is what ever faith makes you the best a person can be is the religion you should embrace. It's not the religion that counts. It the person you become that counts.

I worked for 12 years in Indonesia (1982 - 94) I've never had a problem living and working and having intelligent theological discussions with indonesians. I think it is because I don't try to convert anybody to my way of thinking. All religions are good. If they are interpreted correctly.

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Postby Bubbles » Fri, 10 Feb 2006 11:14 pm

I loved Tiki's reply and agree.

I agree to a point, that you must find your own goodness, and that when you do it can be thought of as Godliness, as coming from some outer source. If that helps you live life, then that is great.

I believe that we are all good, and all bad, and religion is just another sheild we hide behind to do our dirty deeds....or our pious ones.

What matters is that deep kindness we should foster, to everyone and everything. That is what religion truly is. The religion of the Goodness of mankind. All faiths preach it.....'Be good to one another' and that's all it is really.....guidelines for our stay here on earth.

However, I like to give it a focus, a Godhead, so for me it is Christianity. That is not to say that I do not believe others should have their mental pictures too. But I like to run by that kindness inside, and hope to God (whoever or wherever) that it's a world wide enough common feeling.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas.

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Postby CardZeus » Mon, 13 Feb 2006 5:16 pm

Let me put the question another way - Why is it so hard to believe that there is no god or superior being? You know it could all be down to chance and randomness; when you die - that's it, nothing. Maybe it's a fear of such a demise that prompts so many to cling to their beliefs. Why are Christians in particular asked to have blind 'faith' in god and jesus christ, when apparently 2000 years ago he was performing 'miracles' for all to witness? All a load of gobbledegook! Live a good life here and now respect your fellow human being and, hey, if there is something else then what a bonus!!
The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.

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Postby Alfalfa » Mon, 13 Feb 2006 5:23 pm

Born a Muslim and always a Muslim...

Religion helps me to make peace with myself when I am down, depressed, angry over things etc...

I treat religion with respect..Hindu, Catholic, Jews, Buddhist etc....
We'll get along fine as soon as you realize I'm Good.

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Postby ale » Mon, 13 Feb 2006 5:51 pm

religion was invented by man for two reasons, to explain things that couldn't be explained otherwise and for a few to have power over the rest. After all with god on your side you can rule unconditionally as it was shown many times over the course of hisotry. So all in all religion has done more damage than good.

On a personal side i will not let anyone else tell me what god wants me to do and not to do just cause he's quoting some old book or is enlightend or anything. No one has ever spoken to god while alive and anyone claiming to do so is considered a lunatic nowadays. Why can't we apply the same to people long time dead? 2000 years ago people were much easier to impress but we still believe in the teachings and miracles 'witnessed' in a time before instant replay....

coming from a secular society where religion is basically 'ancient' hisotry i can't understand muslims or conservative americans for whom religion is the so crazy important. Actually reading about all these red state ultra religious amazes me much more than about the same happening in the third world. Really, the difference is just that they are quoting from a different book...

This doesn't mean that there isn't a god, i give it a 50% chance as i have neither proof for or against his existance ;-)

btw, i know i probably offended someone but being PC is just not my thing. if you get offended by what i say you're too damn sensitive...

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Postby CardZeus » Mon, 13 Feb 2006 5:54 pm

Alfalfa wrote:Born a Muslim and always a Muslim...


And you never question the fact that had you been born a christian always a christian... born a buddhist always a buddhist...

You must be one of the chosen few born into the 'right' religion :)
The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.


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